How to Manage the Cost of Treating Prostate Cancer

An early diagnosis and expert treatment are both keys to recovering from prostate cancer. Another often overlooked element of this journey is financial help for prostate cancer patients, which can assist them in receiving proper care and reducing stress—which can take a toll on one’s mental and physical health. Prostate cancer is a very survivable disease, but intervention usually involves surgery or even a series of surgeries combined with other therapies like radiation treatment. Costs vary widely and often depend on insurance and diagnosis, but a recent study by the University of California San Francisco found that one surgery for low-risk prostate cancer can cost more than $19,000, with a high-risk treatment averaging around $50,000. So, what financial help for prostate cancer patients is available? There are a number of options, such as the American Cancer Society’s wide-ranging resources for patients with varying types of cancer, including prostate. Cancer Care also offers individual condition-based financial resources, along with counseling and other assistance programs. There are also options for patients to access their own resources, such as through Life Credit’s Living Benefit Loans program. Patients with at least $75,000 in life insurance are eligible to receive up to half of their policy’s death benefit, which can be used as financial help for prostate cancer and those with other conditions. Borrowing against their own life insurance enables patients to access funds into which they’ve already paid quickly and easily, and to regain full ownership of the policy once the loan is repaid. Financial help for prostate cancer can be a significant contributor to one’s future health, as patients—even those who are...

Programs and Resources to Help with Cancer Related Expenses

Cancer is a costly condition, one that puts patients at significant risk for financial burden, and even bankruptcy. When patients are facing a serious medical threat, they need all of their attention focused on their health, not their finances, yet the unfortunate reality is that many patients’ are caught between the two. However, research has shown that when patients can alleviate some of their financial stress, it benefits both their physical and mental health—and sets them up for a greater chance of success on the path to recovery. That’s why free resources for cancer patients are so vital. There are a number of areas where patients can access both information and financial assistance. Here are a few places that offer free resources for cancer patients: Government Agencies Patients may be eligible for financial-assistance programs through the federal government. Many such initiatives only apply to those from low-income households or over certain ages, but patients of all backgrounds should check eligibility requirements regardless. For instance, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services can provide vital free resources for cancer patients to help them close the financial gap that could make the difference in their health. Cancer Nonprofits One of the primary ways patients access both information about and funding for their care is through nonprofit organizations. The American Cancer Society is a nationally known agency with a range of programs to help patients pay for treatment. It also operates chapters throughout the country that provide local-level resources about everything from free transportation services to financial consultants. Healthcare Agencies Many organizations with a healthcare focus devote a segment of their work to...

How to Get Extra Insurance Coverage to Cover the Costs of Cancer

It’s an unfortunate reality that cancer is costly. While insurance is designed to help patients defray medical costs, cancer coverage is often a process filled with red tape, loopholes and a lot of headaches. Immediately after a cancer diagnosis, those who are uninsured will likely start researching getting life insurance with cancer, while patients who currently subscribe to a policy may explore their coverage to see what’s included, what’s not and how to bridge those gaps. Both will likely encounter some roadblocks. Getting life insurance with cancer can be more challenging than it should be, as providers may deny the person because cancer can be considered a pre-existing condition; the same approach may be invoked even for those who have long been paying into their insurance policy. Given the rising cancer rates in the country, some insurance companies have instated specific cancer insurance policies to help patients navigate the exorbitant costs associated with treatment, many of which may not be covered by their primary insurance. However, in most cases, plan participants need to sign up for this coverage before a diagnosis, making getting life insurance with cancer through that company a nonstarter. Even those predisposed to cancer may not seriously consider that they would develop the disease, nor would those who are otherwise healthy, so thinking ahead and paying extra premiums in case often isn’t on most plan participants’ radars. What then can patients do to defray treatment costs? Programs like Life Credit’s Living Benefits Loans allow patients to tap into another resource besides health insurance: life insurance. This initiative connects patients with up to half of their life...

How to Cope with Financial Hardships as a Result of Cancer

While much of the discussion about the impact of cancer centers on the physical repercussions of the disease, there are many other areas of a person’s life that are affected. Finances, for instance, often take a very serious hit when a person is battling cancer. What causes these hardships? The cost of treatment is perhaps the most significant roadblock for many patients. The price tag associated with chemotherapy, pill regimens or surgery can seem prohibitive to many; even with insurance, medical bills can pile up into the tens of thousands. That doesn’t include other costs, such as co-pays, transportation, equipment, and more. There are also a number of lifestyle changes that can impact finances. For instance, patients may have to reduce their working hours or stop working altogether, which can cripple the incoming cash flow. Factor into that added childcare costs while the person is in treatment or recovering and the challenging financial landscape comes more into focus. What are some ways to cope with these hardships? Patients may tap into their savings to meet these added costs, and can even borrow against life insurance. This is a more strategic approach, as it allows the person to meet immediate needs while still thinking about the future. Some insurance policies, particularly those that are whole or life, may allow holders to borrow against life insurance, though they will have that provision written into their policy and have to meet a range of criteria. Another option is a program like Life Credit’s Living Benefits Loan initiative, which has more flexibility eligibility requirements and is open to both whole- and term-life policyholders....

Overcoming Financial Stress as a Result of Cancer

Financial assistance for cancer patients isn’t simply a way to avoid debt or hang onto savings—it can also help patients avoid further physical complications and potentially hang onto years of their lives. The cost of cancer is one of the most serious, yet often overlooked, side effects of the disease. Since finances are often a personal matter, many may choose to keep the burden of mounting medical bills to themselves, which can only further a medical crisis. Stress, including from finances, has been proven to result in poorer physical outcomes. Those who choose to face the overwhelming cost of fighting cancer on their own may actually be putting all that they’re working for at risk. Just like with any stressful circumstance, those who seek help are closer to finding peace of mind—which, for those facing a serious illness like cancer, can literally be life-saving. Financial assistance for cancer patients can come in many forms. Because there is a lack of awareness around the financial impact of cancer, few people may be financially prepared if they receive such a diagnosis, meaning their best option may be to fall back onto the resources that they do have. Life insurance is one outlet that many have invested in, and which can be used in a time of crisis. Instead of selling a policy, however, Life Credit’s Living Benefit Loan program enables cancer patients to borrow against their policy’s death benefit—freeing up cash to help them meet their immediate needs without losing the future benefits of having such a policy. Apart from securing financial assistance for cancer patients, another key is dealing with...

How to Get Financial Assistance as a Cancer Patient

This is the conclusion of a three-part series called Navigating Cancer Care. Cancer patients have a mountain of decisions to consider: Which doctor to choose? Which therapy is best? How to tell loved ones about the diagnosis? How to pay for treatment? That last question may be the one that most deeply vexes patients, who are faced with the reality that treating cancer can take thousands and thousands of dollars, which most people don’t have at easy disposal. Financial assistance for cancer patients can be a lifesaving option that can connect them to better care, better treatment, and better outcomes. But with all of the other decisions patients have to make, how can they navigate the often-complex world of financial assistance for cancer patients? Education is an important first step toward understanding the options, and ultimately making a smart decision. Cancer centers can connect patients with a financial advisor, who will be able to offer a picture of the different programs that specialize in financial help for cancer patients. However, each patient’s situation is different—based on their financial resources, their treatment costs and other factors—so it’s important to do independent research and be your own advocate. Grants and scholarships exist, yet are often geared toward low-income individuals; however, even those with more savings or earning power often struggle to make ends meet after a cancer diagnosis. Other options include tapping into resources like a life insurance policy. Some patients may consider selling their policy, yet that means that they won’t later have that security for which they may have been saving for years. Another approach is borrowing against life...